Michelle Smead is an executive vice president with DHR International, a top five retained executive search firm headquartered in Chicago, Ill. She specializes in the financial and professional services, industrial and not-for-profit practices. She is an expert in assisting clients with defining their executive talent needs and hiring strategies. She provides a quality approach that result in value added talent solutions. Moreover, she supports the board of directors diversity practice because of her long history in diversity initiatives and extensive global network.
Ms. Smead enhanced her successful executive search career by serving in a leadership role as senior recruitment partner with BMO/Harris Bank. Her business acumen and assessment skills resulted in hiring key members to the leadership team in wealth management, commercial lending, structured finance, private banking, chief investment strategists, and to corporate functions in finance, information technology, legal, compliance and strategy.
In 2006, she joined DHR and contributed to the growth and expansion of the firm’s industrial, financial services, diversity and professional services practices. She recommended diverse leaders for BOD roles for private and public organizations. Ms. Smead was also the recipient of an Award for Excellence and Philanthropy Award at the DHR International Global Conference in 2007 for her outstanding achievements in the field of executive search and overall contribution to the community.
Prior to joining DHR, Ms. Smead served as vice president at A.T. Kearney Executive Search in Chicago for nearly 15 years. There, she served in leadership roles serving clients in diversified professional and financial services, non-profit, industrial and retail/consumer industries. The scope of her engagements included chief executives, board members, general management, finance, marketing, strategy, human resources, strategic sourcing and legal. She was also active in recruiting for A.T. Kearney consulting with partners and principals in a variety of consulting disciplines. She was also a member of the Global Diversity Council. Earlier in her career, Ms. Smead was a senior manager with Ernst & Young and KPMG Peat Marwick. She began her career at Booz Allen & Hamilton.
Ms. Smead holds a Master’s degree in Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Illinois. Professional and non-profit organizations in which she is involved include International Women’s Forum Executive Committee, The Chicago Finance Exchange, and the Senior Women’s Business Forum Advisory Board and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Women’s Board where she served as president and treasurer.
She is a frequent speaker on the importance of career strategies for success and getting the job. Most recently, she appeared on WGN’s Money matters and FOX Chicago to discuss industry trends and the economic outlook for hiring.